Taking a look at fifth-year options for 2012 first-round picks


NFL teams are now deciding whether or not to pick up the fifth-year options on 2012 first-round draft picks. Here’s a rundown of where each team stands:


The Colts have announced the obvious, they will pick up the option and pay first overall pick Andrew Luck $16.2 million in 2016.

The Chargers have picked up the $7.8 million option on linebacker Melvin Ingram.

The Steelers have picked up the $8.1 million option on guard David DeCastro.


The Dolphins have made clear that they will pick up the $16.2 million option on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Panthers will certainly pick up the $11.1 million option on linebacker Luke Kuechly.

The Bills will pick up the $11.1 million option on cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

The Chiefs will pick up the $6.1 million option on defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

The Rams will pick up the $6.1 million option on defensive tackle Michael Brockers.

The Seahawks will likely pick up the $7.8 million option on linebacker Bruce Irvin.

The Titans will pick up the $7.3 million option on receiver Kendall Wright.

The Patriots will pick up their options on both of their 2012 first-round picks, a $7.8 million option on defensive end Chandler Jones and a $7.8 million option on linebacker Dont’a Hightower.

The Bengals will pick up the $8.1 million option on guard Kevin Zeitler.

The Vikings will pick up the $5.3 million option on safety Harrison Smith.


The most interesting decision on the board is whether Washington will pick up the $16.2 million option on Robert Griffin III. Fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury, and given Griffin’s injury history, it seems unlikely that Washington would give him that kind of money with an injury guarantee.

The Vikings will probably pick up the $11.1 million option on left tackle Matt Kalil, although he was a disappointment last season and has had a knee injury, so that won’t be an easy decision.

The Cowboys will probably not pick up the $11.1 million option on cornerback Morris Claiborne, given that injuries have forced him to miss most of the last two seasons.

The Rams have a decision to make on safety Mark Barron, who was drafted by the Buccaneers but has since been traded to St. Louis. Barron probably hasn’t played well enough to justify an $8.3 million option.

It’s anyone’s guess what Chip Kelly will decide to do with Fletcher Cox, the Eagles defensive end who would get $7.8 million in 2016 if his option is picked up.

The Bengals seem to like the talent of cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, but they may decide that a $7.5 million option is too much for a player who has started only five games in three seasons.

Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd has played well, but well enough for a $7.3 million salary in 2016?

It’s unclear whether the Jets’ new decision makers see defensive end Quinton Coples as a good fit, so his $7.8 million option is up in the air.

Riley Reiff is the Lions’ starting left tackle, which would seem to make him a good bet to get his $8.1 million option picked up, although the team has said no decision has been made.

The Texans will have a tough time deciding whether to pick up the $7.8 million option on pass rusher Whitney Mercilus. With the likes of J.J. Watt, Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney in Houston, the Texans may decide that they can’t afford another big salary on the defensive line.


The Bears aren’t likely to pick up the option on Shea McClellin, who has been a disappointment.

The Packers probably won’t pick up the option on Nick Perry, who has mostly been a backup in his three years in Green Bay.

Doug Martin looked like a star in the making during his rookie year in Tampa, but a lot has changed since then and the new brass doesn’t seem enamored with him. He’s a long shot to have his option picked up.


Neither of the Browns’ 2012 first-round picks have fifth-year options to pick up: Trent Richardson was traded to the Colts, cut and signed by the Raiders, while Brandon Weeden was cut by the Browns and signed by the Cowboys.

The 49ers’ first-round pick, A.J. Jenkins, was a major disappointment and is now out of the NFL.

The Giants’ first-round pick, David Wilson, retired because of a neck injury.

The Jaguars’ first-round pick, Justin Blackmon had his contract put on hold when he was suspended for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. It’s unclear when or if the Jaguars will get Blackmon back, but it will be at least another year before they would have a fifth-year option decision to make.

43 responses to “Taking a look at fifth-year options for 2012 first-round picks

  1. I don’t think the Vikings will pick up the option on Kalil. He needs to prove himself this season, and if he bounces back to his rookie form, they will sign him to a long-term contract. If he isn’t cutting it, they’ll let him go and sign a competent replacement for a lot less than $11.1 million.

  2. All I know is that Kalil can afford a lot of roller skates for $11.1 million and he will need it, he is always playing like he is on a pair during the games.

  3. RGIII aint getting picked up. He could play lights out this year, and it still aint happening.

    Why? Well, he aint Grudens guy, and he aint McCloughan’s guy. He’s Snyder’s guy. 5 years ago, that would have meant something…but McCloughan makes the personel calls now.

    I just dont see McCloughan spending that kind of cake for a shaky dude when the team will need that cap space for sooooo many other slots.

  4. I disagree with the “close call” on Dre Kirkpatrick. Yeah,
    he’s only started 5 games in 3 years. He’s had 3 first round picks ahead of him on the depth chart in those 3 years as well. (Terence Newman, Adam Jones & Leon Hall).

    Newman is gone so I expect Kirkpatrick to get a lot of
    playing time this year and prove his worth. Surprisingly,
    the Bengals haven’t asked Hall to restructure his contract
    this off season (scheduled to be $9.6 million), $1.8 in signing bonus and $7.8 in base salary. He’s torn his achilles twice now and has lost a step. If it were up to me, I’d tell him to either restructure or walk. Bengals also still have
    2014 #1 draft pick in Darqueze Dennard.

    Kirkpatrick has played well what little he’s played. He had a pick 6 against the Ravens in week 17 of the 2013
    season. A pick 6 against the Bronco’s last year on MNF
    and 6 INT’s in what little time he has played. Not bad
    at all!!

  5. The decision to select A.J. Jenkins in the first round was and still is baffling. His first reception in the NFL happened on his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, 511 days after he was drafted. Jenkins, as of now, has 17 career receptions for 223 yards and 0 TDs. Dang..

  6. No way the Skins pick up RG3’s option. Had high hopes for the guy, but obviously a big disappointment. Skins broke him.

  7. The close calls are stupid. The only risk to picking up the option is if the player gets an injury this year that prevents them from playing the following year. Otherwise you can pick it up and still cut the player before the start of the 2016 league year and owe them nothing.

  8. ctiggs says:
    Apr 9, 2015 3:44 PM
    Aj Jenkins was a MAJOR dissapointment #nobodyhasitbetterthanus
    Except for all the teams that didn’t draft him, don’t have Trent Baalke as general manager and aren’t owned by Jed York.

  9. Dre Kirkpatrick’s option will get picked up by the the Bengals. He’s gotten the chance to learn under some good corners, he’s gotten better, he’s a bit of a ball hawk and you can’t have enough good DBs in this league. Whether he was deserving of a first round grade out of college, I don’t know… but I’d put the likelihood of the Bengals picking up his option above 90%… well out of close call range.

  10. Totally agree scchamil. With the size of a lot of the WR’s
    these days, you hang onto a CB that’s 6’2″ and will only be
    26 years old going into the 2016 season. 5 starts, 6 INT’s
    and 2 of those returned for TD’s! No brainer in my opinion.

    Bengals have their work cut out for them going into the
    2016 season with free agency though! Andrew Whitworth,
    Andre Smith, (both starting tackles) will be free agents.
    A.J. Green had his option picked up this year so he’ll be a FA going into 2016 (unless they can get a long term deal done between now and then). Options to be picked up on Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler (which would cost almost $16 million) along with both safeties, George Illoka and Reggie Nelson and their current #2 and #3 WR’s Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

    They better hit a home run in this years draft!!

  11. Pats are in a quandry. In a good way. Hightower and CJones are 5th yr options next year and JCollins is on a 4 yr rookie contract. Mayo is on the books for not only 10 mil this year, but about the same for 2 yrs after that. It’s gonna be interesting who they decide to pay. May have factored in on the Revis decision.

  12. ariani1985 says:
    Apr 9, 2015 3:43 PM

    But but but Packer fans were saying perry would be the next LT!


    Never heard that even once. More gibberish from no- nothings.

  13. tedmurph, depending on how the draft goes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mayo released before the start of the season in all honesty.

  14. Patriots will let someone go a year too soon over hanging onto them a year too late.

  15. If they release Mayo, even after he passes his physical, it’s still gonna result in a lot of dead money. The Pats don’t like to do business that way. On the other hand, Mayo may refuse a restructure, knowing that despite injuries, somebody will pay him if he forces a release. It’s gonna be interesting. Somthing’s gotta give. Having too many good players is never a problem. Deciding which ones to pay can be.

  16. Melvin Ingram was the best pick in that draft without a doubt!!?? Really!? 18th overall.

    3 years, 44 tackles, 28 assisted tackles, 6 sacks, 8 passes defensed, 4 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.

    48 games in a 3 year span. Played in 29 of those games and
    started 12!

    3 picks later at #21. Chandler Jones,
    3 years, 103 tackles, 75 assisted tackles, 23.5 sacks,
    7 passes defensed, 6 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.

    Again, 48 games in a 3 year span. Played in 40 of those
    games with 38 starts.

    Not even a Pats fan but let’s try to keep it real! I’m all
    for being a “homer” sometimes but c’mon man! 🙂

  17. I realize this is a list of First Rounders and their options being picked up, but it should at least be noted that Russell Wilson (a 2012 3rd rounder) will be making more money than anyone on this list.

  18. tedmurph, I just checked his salary and guaranteed money.

    If they cut him prior to the 2015 season, it results in
    $6 million in “dead money” but saves his base salaries in
    2015 ($6.25 million), 2016 ($7.25 million) and 2017 ($8.75 million). That’s not including $2.4 million in “option” bonuses in 2015 and 2016. “Workout” bonuses of $250 K in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and “roster” bonuses of $187,500 in 2015 and $500,000 in 2016 and 2017.

    I know that’s a lot to absorb lol! But they’d save a ton of future money by doing so even with the $6 million in “dead” money for 2015. With his 2015 base salary and all the other bonuses. That equals $10,287,500 for 2015.
    So even with the $6,000,000 in dead money, it’s still a savings of $4,287,500 just in 2015 alone.

    Follow me? lol 🙂

  19. Shea McClellin fits in a 4-3 defense about a well as square peg fits in a round hole. But Phil Emery was soooo intent on making his first draft pick work. No one was surprised when it didn’t.

    Here’s the irony: The Bears fired Phil Emery and the coaching staff, and the new GM and coaching staff are switching a square-hole 3-4 and McClellin might actually be useful now.

  20. Melvin Ingram was the best pick of that draft without a doubt.

    Except for Luck, Kalil, Kuechly, Poe, BWagner, RWilson, DDavid, DHightower, CJones….never mind. I’m getting bored.

  21. That’s right whoday, but they lose the player. Don’t forget, Mayo is no slouch. If they cut him after 6/1, they save 6 on the cap but have 6 mil in dead money. Would you rather have the player? Next yr is next yr. It’s a tough call.

  22. Right, but the choice is be without Mayo, an excellent player, while carrying 6 mil in dead money or keep Mayo at 10 mil and worry about next year then. Not an easy call.

  23. I agree with you that Mayo is no slouch and it’ll be
    interesting with what happens. Like I said in my
    first post regarding Mayo, it all depends on what
    happens in the draft. Just my opinion mind you,
    the Pats could get someone like Stephone Anthony
    (Clemson ILB) in the 2nd round to take Mayo’s
    spot. Younger/cheaper. Will it happen? Who knows
    and I doubt it to be honest, but stranger things have
    happened. Losing Wilfork, Revis and Browner is
    going to sting for sure. It’ll be interesting (the draft)
    regardless of which team you root for!

  24. Dre Kirk will be picked up. You clearly don’t follow the Bengals. He is 2015 starter.

  25. I hope the Vikings pick up the option on Matt “Turnstile” Kalil. If they do, they’ll pay that stiff $11.1 million! Incredible! Another “brilliant” move by Rick Spiela-dope!

  26. Kalil was the single worst football player in the NFL last year. Just incredibly bad, after having had a great rookie season. Spending another dime on him would be colossally stupid… which means of course it’s a guarantee, the Vikes and Spielman will extend him.

  27. With the injury history and performance issues, it is highly doubtful the Redskins pick up that option. The Detroit team may be forced to pick up the option on Reiff because they have few other options. I had high hopes for the kid but that is a lot of money for someone who should be a RT.

  28. Never heard that even once. More gibberish from no- nothings.

    Does anyone else think it’s ironic when someone accuses others of being know-nothings but can’t spell it correctly?

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